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Neural encoding of rapidly fluctuating odors

Geffen, Maria N. and Broome, Bede M. and Laurent, Gilles and Meister, Markus (2009) Neural encoding of rapidly fluctuating odors. Neuron, 61 (4). pp. 570-586. ISSN 0896-6273.

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Olfactory processing in the insect antennal lobe is a highly dynamic process, yet it has been studied primarily with static step stimuli. To approximate the rapid odor fluctuations encountered in nature, we presented flickering “white-noise” odor stimuli to the antenna of the locust and recorded spike trains from antennal lobe projection neurons (PNs). The responses varied greatly across PNs and across odors for the same PN. Surprisingly, this diversity across the population was highly constrained, and most responses were captured by a quantitative model with just 3 parameters. Individual PNs were found to communicate odor information at rates up to ~4 bits/s. A small group of PNs was sufficient to provide an accurate representation of the dynamic odor time course, whose quality was maximal for fluctuations of frequency ~0.8 Hz. We develop a simple model for the encoding of dynamic odor stimuli that accounts for many prior observations on the population response.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Laurent, Gilles0000-0002-2296-114X
Meister, Markus0000-0003-2136-6506
Additional Information:© 2009 Elsevier. Accepted 21 January 2009. Published: February 25, 2009. Available online 25 February 2009. The authors thank members of the Laurent and Marcelo Magnasco groups for lively discussion and the group of Nate Lewis for guidance on electronic noses. This work was supported by a HHMI pre-doctoral fellowship (M.N.G.), Burroughs Wellcome Career at the Scientific Interface Award (M.N.G.), a pre-doctoral NRSA (B.M.B.), the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders (G.L.), and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (M.M.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Burroughs WellcomeUNSPECIFIED
National Institute on Deafness and Communication DisordersUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Signaling; sysneuro
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090605-114631504
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14370
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:18 Aug 2009 03:27
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:49

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